The new support mechanism to be piloted across South Wales and selected counties in England by domestic abuse charities SafeLives and Respect is very positive step forward in helping to combat domestic violence and abuse.
The programme, which is called Drive, will be aimed at the most dangerous offenders including those thought to be at risk of causing serious harm or committing murder.
Unlike most existing schemes, which involve group work or family therapy, offenders on the Drive programme will be given bespoke one-to-one sessions, including support to tackle any alcohol, drug or mental health problems they may have.
Offenders who refuse to co-operate will be monitored closely by police and will face potential court orders or criminal sanctions.
Says Katie Blackburn, CEO of Calan DVS, “There are more than 100,000 women in the UK who still live at risk from domestic abuse. At Calan DVS we work continuously to support improvements for victim safety and have always advocated the importance of holding perpetrators to account as a significant step in combatting domestic violence and abuse.
“We believe this new initiative, which has the full backing of the police, will help to address the root problem when it comes to domestic abuse ie the attitude and mind set of the perpetrator. We will be looking to support this initiative by continuing to report cases of domestic violence and abuse to the relevant authorities.”
Last week, the office for national statistics released the statistics from April to September 2015 for domestic abuse offences recorded by the police.
The main points highlighted are as follows (source: Office for National Statistics)
- In the 6 month period April to September 2015, the police recorded 206,815 offences that were flagged as being domestic abuse related, accounting for 11% of all police recorded crimes recorded during this period.
- Over three-quarters of these offences (77%) were for violence against the person (160,259 offences).
- A third (33%) of violence against the person offences were domestic abuse related, the highest proportion for any offence group.
- Based on data collected from a subset of forces, in violence against the person offences where the victim was a woman, one half (50%) were domestic abuse related. This compares with 16% of violent offences being domestic abuse related when the victim was male.
- The proportion of violent offences that were domestic abuse related was highest for women aged 20 to 34 (60%). This proportion declined with age for women, with those aged 75 or over experiencing the lowest proportion of domestic abuse related violence (29%).
- In contrast, the proportion of violence offences that were domestic abuse related for male victims increased with age, with the highest proportion for men being for those aged 75 and older (24%).